ACA to ESPN: Be Kind

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The American Cable Association, a lobbying group for small operators,
challenged ESPN Thursday not to seek its usual annual 20 percent rate increase
this year.

The ACA asked ESPN to limit its increase -- which is typically announced at
the end of April -- to the rate of inflation and to give operators the option of
offering the sports network on a tier or a la carte.

"ACA members and all cable operators hope that ESPN will heed the calls of
regulators, legislators, the marketplace, Sen. [John] McCain [R-Ariz.] and
others to limit its rate increase closer to the rate of inflation and give us
the option to carry this most expensive of analog services on a tier or a
single-channel, a-la-carte basis," ACA president Matt Polka said in a prepared
statement.

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